Weight gain as a barrier to smoking cessation among military personnel

C. R. Russ, V. P. Fonseca, A. L. Peterson, L. R. Blackman, A. S. Robbins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Purpose. To assess the relationships between active-duty military status, military weight standards, concern about weight gain, and anticipated relapse after smoking cessation. Design. Cross-sectional study. Setting. Hospital-based tobacco cessation program. Subjects. Two hundred fifty-two enrollees, of 253 eligible, to a tobacco cessation program in 1999 (135 men, 117 women; 43% on active duty in the military). Measures. Independent variables included gender, body mass index (weight/height2), and military status. Dependent variables included concern about weight gain with smoking cessation and anticipated relapse. Results. In multivariate regression analyses that controlled for gender and body mass index, active-duty military status was associated with an elevated level of concern about weight gain (1.9-point increase on a 10-point scale; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.0 to 2.8-point increase), as well as higher anticipated relapse (odds ratio [OR] = 3.6; 95% CI, 1.3 to 9.8). Among subjects who were close to or over the U.S. Air Force maximum allowable weight for height, the analogous OR for active-duty military status was 6.9 (p = .02). Conclusions. Occupational weight standards or expectations may pose additional barriers for individuals contemplating or attempting smoking cessation, as they do among active-duty military personnel. These barriers are likely to hinder efforts to decrease smoking prevalence in certain groups.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)79-84
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Health Promotion
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Gender Differences
  • Military Policy
  • Smoking Cessation
  • Weight Concern

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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